Where the rich are investing 2015

Mahesh Gupta

Kent RO Systems' chairman, Mahesh Gupta says it's important to believe in the business one is investing in

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Published 5 years ago on Nov 23, 2015 Read
Vishal Koul

Mahesh Gupta admits to having a fascination with real estate. He buys land and builds a residential property on it, and this is something that he has done across the NCR. “The idea is to then lease it out, which brings in income. Having idle real investment is a bad idea,” says Gupta, whose water purifier brand Kent RO commands 40% market share in the reverse osmosis (RO) water purifier segment. Though real estate has caught Gupta’s fancy, his best bet has been his business and this, according to him, is in the 100% ownership of the unlisted Kent RO Systems. From a turnover of ₹66 crore in 2008, the company’s turnover has risen to ₹580 crore in 2014. “If real estate accounts for about 8-10% of my wealth, my equity holding is close to 90%.” He also holds a small part of his wealth (he estimates it to be at about 1-2%) in other companies. “These are stocks that I have held on to for over 20 years.” 

His rationale behind investing in real estate is related to the fact that land is in short supply and the country’s population is growing; this is also why he owns offices across India. It helps that Gupta is not obsessed about the returns from his investments. “An asset should appreciate over the long term,” he says. His asset allocation strategy is to understand that investing is not like running a business. “One should like the asset and a healthy return will follow,” he says. Although most of his investment is in his own company, he says a good way of going about investing in listed stocks is to like the businesses you are investing in. “You should look at it as an investment in a business that you believe in. Equities are a way of putting in money when you cannot directly be in that business.” That said, he says an outlook of at least five years is required to get the best out of equities. “There is some emotional quotient that comes into play here.”

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